The Indian number system corresponds to the Western system for the zeroth through fourth powers of ten: one (10^{0}), ten (10^{1}), one hundred (10^{2}), one thousand (10^{3}), and ten thousand (10^{4}). For higher powers of ten, the names no longer correspond. In the Indian number system, the next powers of ten are called one lakh, ten lakh, one crore, ten crore, one arab (or one hundred crore), and so on; there are new words for every second power of ten (10^{5 + 2n}): *lakh* (10^{5}), *crore* (10^{7}), *arab* (10^{9}), *kharab* (10^{¹¹}), etc. In the Western system, the next powers of ten are called one hundred thousand, one million, ten million, one hundred million, one billion (short scale)/one thousand million (long scale), and so on; in the short scale, there are new words for every third power of ten (10^{3n}): *million* (10^{6}), *billion* (10^{9}), *trillion* (10^{12}), etc.

Written numbers differ in the placement of commas, grouping digits into powers of one hundred (10^{2}) in the Indian system (except for the first thousand), and into powers of one thousand (10^{3}) in the Western system. The Indian and most English systems both use the decimal point and the comma digit-separator, while some other languages and countries using the Western numbering system use the decimal comma and the thin space or point to group digits.^{[2]}

There are terms for numbers larger than 1 crore as well, but these are not commonly used. These include 1 *arab* (equal to 100 crore or 1 billion (short scale)), 1 *kharab* (equal to 100 arab or 100 billion (short scale)), 1 *nil* (sometimes incorrectly transliterated as *neel*; equal to 100 kharab or 10 trillion), 1 *padma* (equal to 100 nil or 1 quadrillion), 1 *shankh* (equal to 100 padma or 100 quadrillion), and 1 *mahashankh* (equal to 100 shankh or 10 quintillion). In common parlance, the thousand, lakh, and crore terminology (though inconsistent) repeats for larger numbers: thus 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) becomes 1 *lakh crore*, written as 10,00,00,00,00,0